Hey Conservatives – What do you mean, Black Lives Matter went too far?

This is so goddamn annoying. You’ve heard this one, right? When someone tells you that they don’t support fascists buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut…

Usually they start calling up imagery of cities on flame (just not with rock and roll), cops crying into their hats as they lose their career over only three or four rape allegations, and small business owners losing everything as an uncontrollable riot sweeps across their city. “BLM has gone too far, man! Fascism is bad but telling me I’m racist is worse somehow!”

First, if this is you, stop. Don’t go away, though. I want to talk to you. But this is your first step. Stop hurting and gaslighting people.

Black people in America have been subjected to incredible state violence for literal centuries, every day of their lives, unceasingly, for dozens of generations. Electoral politics has failed. The most it has managed to achieve are small, token wins from politicians who want to look like the the good guys without fixing the fundamental problems, or even speaking their names in public.

When faced with overwhelming and unending violence for generations untold, some people (not even most!!) have responded with violence in turn. Not eye for an eye, not against the people who have killed their friends and families, but against property. They broke fucking windows, man. The state kills people in broad daylight, and they respond by breaking windows. And your solution, your advice, is that THE PEOPLE BEING KILLED should act more peacefully. It is asking people to willingly allow themselves to be the victims of violence so that you can feel better about supporting them.

You Have Been Lied To. And You Ate It Up

Also, no offense, but I don’t necessarily trust that you have the best assessment of how riotous any protests were/are. I just gotta say it, cops lie a lot. Demonstrably. Laughably poorly. In Florida, Tampa PD raided and violently broke up a block party that had occurred every Friday for years, then went to the media and spun a big story about how they had been ambushed. Police fire tear gas canisters (which are incendiary) and literal explosives at people, but then blame every single fire on “antifa thugs”. They blast chemical weapons through entire neighborhoods, drive their vehicles over crowds of pedestrians, murder civilians in broad daylight, conspire with literal fascists to doxx protesters, and then straight up LIE so that the other guys seem even worse. The goal is to make people like you, the “reasonable” ones who are concerned about “optics” and polling numbers, think that this thing is out of control and the thin blue line is all that stands between you and the dangerous black people. If you believe this, you have been played, dude.

What about Elections? But my optics!

I don’t care about thoughts and prayers from politicians. I don’t care who condemned George Floyd’s murder. I don’t care who gave a sound bite to CNN about what a tragedy this was. The only reason there was any justice at all for George Floyd – and to be clear there was not nearly enough – is because there was an international uprising for black lives. And even that wasn’t enough to do anything for Breonna Taylor. I don’t care what showy use-of-force bill any politician introduces in congress. They know it will never pass, so they can say whatever they want. Everyone in Washington did the bare minimum to look good, nothing happened, and nothing changed. That’s the long and short. Everybody said the right words, did nothing, and nothing changed. This is what popularity gets you.

This is not a popularity contest. The point isn’t to get 51% of the public behind a flag or cause or hashtag. Because time and again, the majority of the public has proven that it cares more about property damage than a brutal and unending regime of violence against black people. The majority of white people, who are more concerned about cleaning up Main Street than solving police brutality, are already a lost cause. People tried asking nicely. They were tear-gassed, beaten, run over with police cars, sold out to the far right, and blamed for the very violence they protested against. The point isn’t to win public support. That window came and went. The point is to put up enough of a fight that the people who want permission to beat and kill you begrudgingly back down.

That video appears to be restricted, so I’ll quote a few bits. Go watch if you want the full effect, though.

“It is vanishingly rare for injustice to be corrected simply by appealing to the moral sense of those in power. Once the state has shown it will commit violence against its own citizens to protect, or simply to demonstrate, its own authority, the people have only the choice to give up, or to proceed with violence in play. They cannot, by themselves, turn a physical struggle back into a purely moral one. They can only decide where the violence takes place. Change happens when people are willing to bleed for it.

“Pacifism is a powerful strategy, but it is, no mistake, the willingness to personally take a bat to the head.

…Critics who demand peaceful demonstrations are saying, whether they admit it or not, that the correct way to protest is to let a heavily militarized police force that has already demonstrated it is willing to murder people in full view of the public beat them shitless. They are not wishing for nonviolence. They are stating a preference for whom the violence should happen to.”

Here’s Your Conclusion

Put yourself in the shoes of Black activists for just one minute. Just one. Don’t armchair-referee this. If you aren’t willing to go out there and get beaten alongside them, then you don’t have a seat at the table.

Thanks for listening. I hope you take time after this to do some introspection, to turn a critical eye to the narratives you don’t usually question.

And if you don’t, then go fuck yourself and stay out of the way.